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in part IMO, because of the brutal experience of the Wars of Religion - I mean, seriously, that long bloody episode made political thinking out of the box seem pretty "resonable." Perhaps the Sunnis & the Shia need to have their own drawn out battle over primacy in Islam, in the way Protestants & Catholics bloodied one another, before they too subordinate religion to the political dustbin of individual spirituality

You have a point here. It may be that Shia against Sunni in a prolonged and bloody battle, even if not major wars, just fighting such as is going on in Iraq, over a period of time, could be enough to ignite the populace into an "enough is enough" frame of mind to bring about change.

Finally, I see the the ease of travel and exposure to diversity you reference as cutting both ways. I think of the experience of East & West Germany: there are many stories of East Germans picking up West German television broadcasts, which put on display the increasing disparity in prosperity that the competing systems provided the same "Volk." To the extent the dispossessed successfully make the argument that our prosperity is a function of the West's imperial tyranny of them, the apparent contrast will not serve any Enlightened purpose.

I also see this as a two edged sword. I feel that the fall of Eastern Europe was due more to the loosening of restrictions in the detente years which gave the people of those nations a view into what they were missing than any other factor. It's why I can't understand why we insist on maintaining a embargo on Cuba, other than for politicians to play to the Cuban expat crowd in this country. In this case tho I don't know which way the sword cuts deeper. Is the availability of opposing ideas and practical goods for other lifestyles from the West outweighed by the flight of many of those who would normally lead such a "revolution"? Hard to tell.

Well I won't totally discount the idea that it will happen I'm not as optomistic as you over the eventuallity that it will. I guess time will tell.

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